Can you switch hands in pickleball?

Can you switch hands in pickleball? There are many different opinions among the pickleball players regarding changing their hands in pickleball during the match. Most of the players don’t know that is it legal or not to switch hands during the play? We have all the answers here.

Before answering you the question, let me introduce myself. I am also a pickleball player and have been playing this game since years. I have seen people debating on this question many times that whether they can change their hands or not during the play. So, we will be discussing it further in detail. We will also have an eye on advantages or disadvantages of changing your hands during the game. So, just stick with us to know thoroughly.

Can you switch hands in pickleball

Can you switch hands in pickleball?

The answer is Yes.

According to the USA Pickleball Association rulebook, there are not any prohibition on switching hands in pickleball. It means that it’s totally fair and legal to change or switch your hands during the game in pickleball. You can play right handed shots as well as left handed shots during the rally in game and even you can hit the ball by holding the paddle in both hands at the same time.

But it’s not easy to switch hands during the game. You need to have good skills and hand coordination in game to switch hands with convenience.

Also Read: What is a sweet spot on a pickleball paddle?

Should you switch your hands in game?

Most of the professional players used to avoid switching hands in game because it’s not easy to maintain momentum in game with the other hand. More than 95% of people on the globe are either left handed or right handed. Only 1 to 5% have the capability to do work with both of the hands equally.

For example, if you are a right handed player and you switch your hand during the game from right to left hand, then you can’t be able to generate same power on the ball with left hand.

Also, it depends on your skills and playing style. If switching hands in game is advantageous for you and you have the skills to adapt yourself accordingly in the game, then you can switch your hands. Many professionals use this technique to get a slight advantage on specific shots to get more reach on ball.

Also Read: How to make a pickleball court on grass?

Advantages of Switching hands:

Switching hands in pickleball gives you some additional advantages in the game against your opponent. Many professional players like Wes Gabrielson and Enrique Ruiz use this technique of switching hands to get some advantage against their opponents. So, let’s discuss what advantages you get when you switch hands in pickleball:

Extra Reach on Court:

Switching your hands during the game allows you to expand your reach on the court. When you have to hit a backhand, then in this situation your hand crosses your body to reach the opposite side to hit the ball. And many times you fail to hit the ball. So, the technique of switching hands comes into action here. You can increase your reach to the ball by switching paddle in other hand. However, you need to be quick in switching hands.

More control on Weak Backhand:

By switching your hands, the backhand can be played as a forehand. When we play forehand, it’s easier to play and can be played with more power and control. It’s specially beneficial for the beginners who face difficulty in playing backhands.

Require less mobility:

By switching hands, you can cover more area of the court, which means you need to move less. You will easily accessible to most of the shots on the court which reduces your mobility on the court.

Strategic game and confuse your opponent:

When you switch your hands, it confuses your opponent and also allows you to play a variety of shots, which keeps your opponent on toes and it becomes difficult for your opponent to anticipate your next shot.

Also Read: How deep is the kitchen in pickleball?

Disadvantages of Switching hands:

Besides the above mentioned advantages, there are also some disadvantages which is the reason that most of the professional players avoid switching hands in pickleball. A few are mentioned below:

Paddle drop or Shot missing:

Pickleball includes rapid rallies which are mostly played around the kitchen area which is close to the net. During such rapid rallies which are so closer to the net, it becomes difficult and risky to switch paddle because you won’t get enough time to switch paddle in other hand. Sometimes, you may drop the paddle or miss the ball in hurry. So, it’s riskier to switch paddle.

Confusion in doubles game:

In doubles game, switching hands in the middle of the rallies may confuse your partner. If a ball is coming in the middle of the court and your partner is thinking to hit the ball, but then you switch hands and try to hit that ball, will lead in a forceful error sometimes. So, be careful while switching hands in pickleball.

Can you switch hands in pickleball


I hope now you can switch your hands in pickleball without any worries of breaking the rules as you now get to know that it’s legal to switch paddle in any of the hands during the game. I have also introduced you with the advantages and disadvantages of changing or switching hands in game. So, it’s totally your choice whether to change hands or not in the game.

I personally don’t recommend to change hands in game if you are not skilled so well to do so. It’s risky to change hands. But if you have a good coordination between both hands, you can give it a try.

For any other query, you can visit to the comments section below. I will try to respond to you with the best possible answer. If this article seems helpful for you, then I will ask you to share it with other pickleball lovers in your contacts. Have a great day!

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